Authorities in San Jose, CA, arrested Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza for the murder of Bambi Larson. They said Carranza was in America illegally with “a lengthy history of arrests,” which has brought up sanctuary policies in the state. From CBS San Francisco (emphasis mine):

The case brought forth outcry from Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, who said the county’s refusal to honor detainer requests and notifications allowed Arevalo Carranza to be released from county jail without notifying federal authorities.

During a news conference Wednesday, Santa Clara County Counsel James Williams said the county is acting on state law, which has deemed it a violation of due process to detain inmates in jail for an extended time due to an ICE request.

He said there may be room for deputies to notify ICE of an inmate who has been placed under a detainer request, instead of keeping them in jail until federal agents arrive, but the county does not currently allow law enforcement to provide information to federal authorities.

Reports show “that the county jail ignored six requests by immigration authorities to turn him over — Los Angeles County received three other detention requests from ICE.”

ICE admitted that Carranza came into America illegally in 2013. The agency told its side of the story:

Immigration officials ask local agencies for civil detainers, a voluntary request for local jails to hold a person after their release date until immigration officials can come detain them.

According to officials with ICE, between October and November 2016, the agency requested three times that Arevalo-Carranza be detained at the Los Angeles Police Department’s central jail, none of which were fulfilled. From June 2016 to January 2019, the agency also asked Santa Clara County to hold him six times, according to ICE.

Williams countered that if ICE “wanted to apprehend Arevalo-Carranza, it should have obtained a warrant, which the county would have honored.” However, it doesn’t help that this “county does not proactively provide notification to ICE without a warrant.”

Police Chief Garcia stopped short of criticizing the sanctuary policies as he still believes he does not want to do anything that will make immigrants scared of the police. But he knows something has to change:

He said, however, that her murder demands police and the county have a conversation over its refusal to honor ICE detainer requests for violent criminals.

San Jose police do not request immigration status when making an arrest or report or arrest undocumented immigrants living in the city, but Garcia said ignoring detainers and releasing inmates from custody who have committed serious crimes undermines the city’s safety.

“This isn’t about politics, this is about public safety,” Garcia said, adding that documented and undocumented immigrants should have no reason to fear police in the city. “He could have been turned over six times.”

Sheriff Smith agreed that Carranza “should have remained in custody until officials with ICE had the appropriate time to evaluate his immigration status.” She voiced support to change the county policy to honor all ICE holds.

Yes, something has to change. While no one should be scared of the police, ICE shouldn’t have to think twice about doing its job. It’s a two-way street. Local officials and federal agencies have to work together.


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